As is the usual practice of the Webmaster, following on from the Bendigo swapmeet I make it a part of my annual leave to take a road trip to parts of the country I have not visited before.
This year (2011) the Gippsland Vehicle Collection at Maffra was on the agenda as a place of interest to visit since the intended route was to Wilsons Promitory from Bendigo and to follow the south eastern coastline as much as practical up to a point approximately level with Canberra and then proceed back to Adelaide. Maffra is but a minor detour inland from the intended path.
To my dismay the evening of my arrival in Maffra (a Wednesday) I learnt that the collection was only open on Fridays thru to Mondays which did not fit in with the rest of my plans. A gentleman who was mowing the lawns stopped for a chat and much to my surprise on hearing that I was a member of the VSCCSA offered to return the following morning to open up for me. I would not expect that this is a common practice and I am much indebted the him for doing so and I thourougly enjoyed the experience of having the place and its exhibits to myself for several hours. I was also given a contact for a private collection further along my path but unfortunately the owner was not able to be contacted.
I would thoroughly reccomend to anyone who finds themself in the area to pay this collection a visit.
Thier website is www.gippslandvehiclecollection.org.au/
Later in my travels and heading up the coast of NSW near Pambula I noted a vintage car wreck in a grassed area off the side of the road and a sign for the Sapphire Coast Historic Vehicle Club. Taking a slight detour I found myself at thier clubrooms which was attended by a gent working on a Morris Minor and on introductions he fetched the club president who was elsewhere on the premises and I had thier museum opened up for me with the offer to "feel free to take the covers off anything". Again taken aback, I had the run of the place and was like a kid in a lolly shop!
This club has a setup that would be the envy of many others, as well as meeting rooms with catering facilities, they have a large equipped workshop complete with hoist etc and the aforementioned museum housing approximately 30 vehicles. I would seriously consider moving interstate to become a part of it!
Well worth a visit - Thier website is http://thebegavalley.org.au/historiccars.html
Last but not least I had met up with a chap at Bendigo purely by accident who worked on his friends vintage cars and that friend just happened to have a Hupp! Well the offer was put forward that should my journey home take me near Bahram to "ring the night before and drop in". This was duly done and on arrival in town I was led to meet the owner of the said Hupp who also owned a vintage Oldsmobile, Dodge and Ford. Thinking that a cuppa and a chat was to be the extent of this detour, I was again surprised by the invitation to "follow me to the museum". Well the museum belonged to the Flywheelers club and comprised of many and varied stationary engines, vintage cars and trucks plus assorted other collectibles. Once again an unexpected private tour of a very interesting collection.
Contact detail can be found at http://www.borderflywheelers.com.au/Home_Page.php
Now I have no idea if it is just good old fashioned hospitality that sadly seems to be lacking in modern society and is now only found in country towns or the bonds that come naturally when people of a like mind and interest get together. The hospitality and genuine warmth that these different groups and people exhibited to a complete stranger I found to be a refreshing and reassuring insight into just how nice some individuals can be.